PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Heather Lauer
Environmental Education Grants Assisting Three Northwest Ohio Organizations
Three northwest Ohio organizations have received grants from Ohio EPA’s Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF): Antwerp Local Schools, Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Logan Soil and Water Conservation District.
Antwerp Local Schools and Ottawa SWCD received mini grants and Logan SWCD received a general grant. General grants are awarded for up to $50,000; seven general grants were issued statewide for a total of $207,860. Mini grants are awarded for $500 to $5,000; 10 mini grants were awarded for a total of $34,369.
The grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions are:
- Antwerp Local Schools, Defiance and Paulding counties: $5,000 for a “Native Plants Prairie and Wildlife Area” project. A two-acre section of the school complex will be planted with native plants and will include bird and bat houses, composting, solar lighting and pumps and include information to help students and visitors learn about conservation and nature.
- Ottawa SWCD: $2,145 for the “Augmented Reality Sandbox” project. A portable Augmented Reality Sandbox will be built to provide hands-on learning of various earth science concepts. A kinetic camera will project different landforms onto a sandbox. Participants can change the landform by moving the sand to see how water flows and disperses over land after a rain. It will be used to illustrate land erosion, non-point source pollution and topography to local students and adults.
- Logan SWCD: $21,272 for “Exploring Effects of Water Quality in Western Ohio.” The project will provide curriculum resources, professional development and field experiences for seventh grade teachers in 45 school districts in Auglaize, Darke, Hardin, Logan, Mercer, Miami and Shelby counties. It will provide education on water quality, with a focus on nutrients in many watersheds and related harmful algae bloom concerns.
The Ohio Environmental Education Fund provides grants each year for environmental education projects serving kindergarten through university students, the public and the regulated community. OEEF grants are funded with a portion of the civil penalties Ohio EPA collects for violations of Ohio’s air and water pollution control laws.
Eligible grant recipients include environmental groups, public and private schools, colleges and universities, trade or professional organizations, businesses and state and local governments. Letters of intent for the next grant round are due to Ohio EPA no later than Jan. 9, 2018, and applications are due by Jan. 16, 2018. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund online or at (614) 644-2873 to discuss project ideas.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.